skip to primary navigationskip to content

Optimistic new paper shows global agreement on conservation science-policy barriers and solutions: a call for action

last modified Apr 23, 2018 12:26 PM

A new paper in Conservation Letters, produced collaboratively by individuals across the Cambridge Conservation Initiative in the David Attenborough Building, provides an optimistic message on how to improve the chances of evidence-informed conservation policy. Based on a global, multi-language survey of 758 research scientists, policy-makers, and practitioners, the paper finds agreement between groups on the main barriers preventing the use of evidence in policy, as well as agreement on possible solutions. Although this finding may perhaps be contrary to expectations, it provides a compelling call for action.

The top-ranked barriers to the use of evidence in conservation policy relate to the low priority of the environment on the policy agenda. Top-ranking solutions are focused on convincing the wider public, including policy-makers (the two are, of course, linked through voting), of the importance of long-term conservation-compatible policies. We suggest that this adds to the growing calls for a new kind of conservation science that seeks to be more trans-disciplinary, reaching beyond the siloes of academia, and out to the wider public who are not currently convinced about the need to tackle conservation challenges.

The paper is available open access here:

For more information on how trans-disciplinary collaboration is happening in the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, see here:

Please address all correspondence to lead author, Dr David Rose, who is now at the University of East Anglia (

List of authors: David C. Rose, William J. Sutherland, Tatsuya Amano, Juan P. González-Varo, Rebecca J. Robertson, Benno I. Simmons, Hannah S. Wauchope, Eszter Kovacs, América Paz Durán, Alice B. M. Vadrot,  Weiling Wu, Maria P. Dias, Martina M. I. Di Fonzo, Sarah Ivory, Lucia Norris, Matheus Henrique Nunes, Tobias Ochieng Nyumba, Noa Steiner, Juliet Vickery, and Nibedita Mukherjee